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Team boss says secret Ferrari settlement 'a scandal'

A statement issued by F1's governing body late last week poses "more questions than answers".

A statement issued by F1's governing body late last week poses "more questions than answers".

That is the view of La Gazzetta dello Sport, after the FIA shocked the Formula 1 world last Friday by saying it had reached a secret "settlement" with Ferrari.

It follows an investigation into the legality of Ferrari's 2019 engine, and could explain why the Italian team has been mysteriously lacking power in winter testing.

Auto Motor und Sport claims the FIA may even have seized an entire power unit over the winter, following rival teams' suspicions that Ferrari was breaching the rules.

The FIA said that investigation has now concluded with the reaching of a "settlement" whose details "will remain between the parties".

Part of the settlement will involve Ferrari helping the FIA with research into "carbon emissions and sustainable fuels", and to "improve the monitoring of all" other engines on the grid.

But publications insist the secret settlement, announced on the final day of pre-season testing and amid the coronavirus crisis, has enraged the other teams.

An unnamed team boss told Auto Bild: "This decision opens the door for everyone else to cheat. It's a scandal."

Another said that with Ferrari's second place in 2019 still standing, every other team has effectively been cheated out of millions in prize money.

"We won't put up with that," the team boss said.

"It's a distortion of the competition and about lots and lots of money."

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport said: "Now there is a picture of the FIA having no evidence of possible violations by Ferrari, but also the impression that Ferrari was not able to refute all the allegations."

Another Italian newspaper, Corriere dello Sport, added: "What consequences will this agreement have for Ferrari?

"They seemed very slow in testing, even having to keep an eye on Racing Point.

"For now we can only hope that everything turns out fine. A better aerodynamic package may have made the car faster in the corners, but what good is it for the team if the engine is not as powerful as last season?"

Even Mattia Binotto admits that the 2020 Ferrari power unit is "not as good as last year".

Sebastian Vettel indicated that the situation could mean Ferrari quickly turns its attention to improving for the new rules of 2021.

"First we have to find out how much we are missing. Then it will depend on whether we sacrifice something from the 2021 program or whether the gap is so large and it's not worth it," said the German driver.

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Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel pictured in November 2019
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